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Goharshad Mosque is one of the most famous mosques in Iran which is located in Razavi Khorasan province in the northeast of the country.
The structure is located in the architectural complex of Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad.Its foundation is made of brick and plaster and is one of the most prominent historical monuments of Iran due to its structural characteristics and having rich tile and scripture decorations.
The mosque has an area of 9410 square meters. It has a big azure dome, four verandas, a courtyard and seven big bedchambers. On the two sides of the cella, there are two beautiful minarets, each with a height of 40 meters. At the end of the cella, there is a big altar with a stone dado and a mosaic faience shell.
The mosaic faience of the courtyard with a height of 20.1 meters is covered by dark stone and the rest of the surface is decorated with tiles of flora, artistic and arabesque designs. The entire surface of these minarets, the walls and the surrounding colonnades are decorated with fine mosaic and glazed tiles produced in a variety of colors including ultramarine, turquoise, white, clear green, yellow, light yellow and ebony.
The main dome of the building constitutes ...see more two dissociated onion-like layers with short shaft and a hatchway diameter of 15 meters, circumference of 63 and thickness of 5.2 meters. The convex part of the dome’s shell is decorated with an inscription in Kufic script.
The mosque has a public library which holds 34650 volumes of books. The old library was located on the eastern side of Imam Khomeini courtyard but due to an increase in number of books and users, the new building of the library named central library was built predicting five million volumes of books and was inaugurated in 1995.
It is to be mentioned that the museum building is located on the eastern side of Imam Khomeini courtyard. Its artifacts date back to the sixth century hejira. The museum is regarded one of the most beautiful and richest museums of Iran. Among unique artifacts of the museum is the grave stone of Imam Reza (AS) (the eighth Imam of the household of the Prophet, peace be upon him) which has been engraved in projected Kufic script in 516 lunar hejira. Also a number of tileworks with projected motifs known as Sanjari tile of the sixth century are kept in the museum.
This Islamic architecture complex which is distinctive in its beauty and still stands firm after six centuries, hosts millions of pilgrims every year. The entrance porch is a continuation of the well-known “one archway set inside another” style that developed both in Samarqand and in the hands of the architects of Shiraz. This portal possesses a number of raised and recessed areas that give it extra depth and distinction.
Reference: www.iranreview.org

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